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Re: The Language of Reflection (part 2)

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  • Will Brown
    Methinks we are beginning to get an idea of where the other is located. When I first read that Conversation thingy, I was struck by how the mind whose movement
    Message 1 of 74 , Mar 3, 2007
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      Methinks we are beginning to get an idea of where the other is located. When I first read that Conversation thingy, I was struck by how the mind whose movement is sensed in categorical terms moved, if that makes sense to you. I sense that movement as if there is a moving from one room to another. To me, it is as if there is an inner territory that is just as real only sensed in another way. I said 'as if' because I don't want to get tagged as seeing ghosts.  ----willy

      --- In kierkegaardians@yahoogroups.com, "Bill" <billybob98103@...> wrote:
      >
      > --- In kierkegaardians@yahoogroups.com, "jimstuart46"
      > jjimstuart@ wrote:
      > Willy, When Kierkegaard writes that "the individual is the place",
      > what I have in mind is that the individual is not a mere spectator to
      > the past, but is able to participate. I've been reading
      > Conversations on the Path (but mostly the Introducition lol), but I
      > haven't been able to use my computer for a few days.
      >
      > I've been able to understand you a bit better, and if there is this
      > "bright line", then it is because we participate in coming from
      > the past(as you've used the past). There is a satisfaction in this
      > understanding and therefore a moving foreward with our finite tasks.
      >
      > What is important is that for Heidegger and Kierkegaard there is a
      > need for truth. But, truth is a question which we don't understand
      > why its a question. The answer to the question is given indirecly,
      > though we understand it directly. The satisfaction gained indirectly
      > from the past is transferred through ourselves to our future that
      > remains an interest in the finite.
      >
      > Maybe this suggests your own experience? Bill
      >
      > >
      > > Dear Willy,
      > >
      > > Thank you for your three recent posts – 5464, 5468 and 5469 –
      > > all three have helped me to improve my understanding of your
      > > interpretation of K, and they have also helped me to progress my own
      > > understanding of K.
      > >
      > > Let me first respond to what you write in the first of your three
      > posts
      > > – post 5464.
      > >
      > > I don't think your three quotes from PH support your argument for
      > > the absolute way of self-change.
      > >
      > > The three quotes are concerned with the situation "in eternity",
      > > which I read as the life after death. Whilst there may be some
      > > metaphorical truth in K's claim that after death "in the
      > > infinite there is no place, the individual is himself the place", I
      > > don't think you can apply that idea to our earthly existence here
      > > and now when we are continuously in the process of becoming. Here
      > and
      > > now you and I are in the midst of our temporal existences – we are
      > > not currently "in eternity".
      > >
      > > A second criticism is that your description of the absolute way of
      > > self-change is based on an anti-Christian theory of personal
      > identity.
      > > According to the absolute way, you have existed as two different
      > > individuals or selves: the aesthetic individual "WB1" before
      > > your aesthetic-to-ethical transition and the ethical individual
      > > "WB2" after your absolute transition.
      > >
      > > As I understand you, the individual WB1 went out of existence in the
      > > late sixties (or was it the seventies?), and the new individual WB2
      > was
      > > created out of nothing. Although the US state authorities only
      > recognize
      > > one person "William Brown", in reality there have been two
      > > people who have possessed the official ID for "William Brown".
      > >
      > > Whilst I have no worries about the US authorities being in the
      > wrong, I
      > > suggest that K does not hold to this "two persons" view of
      > > "William Brown" because it is contrary to traditional Christian
      > > doctrine.
      > >
      > > As I read K he was a conservative when it came to traditional
      > Christian
      > > doctrine – he had no wish to question or amend what he understood as
      > > Christian dogma.
      > >
      > > It is traditional Christian doctrine that God created each of us as
      > one
      > > person or self at our conception. This self continues as one self
      > > throughout its earthly existence, and continues as the same self
      > after
      > > death when it is judged and ends up in heaven or hell.
      > >
      > > Each of us, as one single individual, is at death responsible for
      > all
      > > our actions throughout our earthly lives, in particular we are each
      > > responsible for the sins we have committed.
      > >
      > > On your two-self view, WB2 is not responsible for the actions or
      > sins of
      > > WB1, as WB2 is not the same person as WB1.
      > >
      > > Your view, which fits more closely with Eastern ideas of the self,
      > is
      > > heretical with respect to Christianity, and, I suggest, K would not
      > > countenance such a view.
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > > Let me pick up these sentences of yours where you criticise the
      > relative
      > > way of self-change:
      > >
      > > << There are a few difficulties in applying the above form of
      > > self-change to SK's words, even if he, from time to time, refers
      > not to
      > > death but a dying to. The first and foremost being that in many
      > places
      > > he describes the self-change in terms that may be read as absolutely
      > > requiring an absolute change of identity. >>
      > >
      > > Can you give references and/or quotes for these "many places"
      > > where K describes the self-change as requiring "an absolute change
      > > of identity"?
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > > In your post 5468 you ask:
      > >
      > > << How can you see an absolute disjunction in the transition from
      > the
      > > esthetic to the ethical and not see what I am talking about? We
      > must not
      > > have the same idea of what an absolute disjunction means when it
      > comes
      > > to subjectivity. What do you mean? >>
      > >
      > > I interpret K's talk of an "absolute disjunction" as
      > > implying an absolute change of the individual (the self) as a
      > result of
      > > the leap from the lower sphere to the higher sphere. For me the
      > absolute
      > > disjunction means the (same) self changing absolutely, for you it
      > means
      > > that the old self dies (is annihilated) and the new self is created
      > from
      > > nothing.
      > >
      > > It would be helpful if you could list all the places where K uses
      > the
      > > term "absolute disjunction". From memory, I recall he only uses
      > > the term to describe the religiousness A – to – religiousness B
      > > transition; not, as you believe, the aesthetic-to-ethical
      > transition.
      > > But I may be wrong here.
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > > The quotes you give from your post 5469 are very helpful and do show
      > > that K did distinguish between "bad" reflection and
      > > "good" reflection. Bad reflection is the kind of objective
      > > reflection of the Hegelians who "cast all Christian relationships
      > > into reflection".
      > >
      > > Good reflection is subjective reflection, "a god fearing
      > > reflection", " a reflection on himself, which is itself an
      > > action", "the infinite reflection", "another kind of
      > > reflection, specifically, that of inwardness, of possession,
      > whereby it
      > > belongs to the subject and no one else", "the reflection of
      > > inwardness … the subjective thinker's double reflection".
      > >
      > > However, whilst this kind of reflection is worthwhile, even
      > essential
      > > for the individual who has become ensnared by objective reflection,
      > it
      > > must always be remembered that "one does not become a Christian
      > > through reflection".
      > >
      > > With regard to the question of whether K saw it as his task to "cast
      > > all the Christian relationships into reflection", the following
      > > quote does seem to support your view:
      > >
      > > "Thus he completed the task of reflection—to cast Christianity,
      > > becoming a Christian, wholly and fully into reflection. The purity
      > of
      > > his heart was to will only one thing." (PV, Hong, p. 97)
      > >
      > > I do not have a copy of PV, so I would like to read this quote
      > within
      > > its context. Could you put the quote embedded in its paragraph with
      > the
      > > preceding and following paragraph included as well?
      > >
      > > It is not clear to me who the "he" in the quote refers to, or
      > > who has "the task of reflection".
      > >
      > > I am not sure to what extent the quotes you include support your
      > > interpretation of K. For example, I note that "the leap is the
      > > category of decision", which fits my interpretation of the
      > > aesthetic-to-ethical transition exactly, but is an embarrassment to
      > your
      > > view, as I don't think you see the aesthetic-to-ethical transition
      > > as essentially "a decision".
      > >
      > > Yours,
      > >
      > > Jim Stuart
      > >
      >
    • Will Brown
      JS, I just posted something to JR that was, in fact, also meant as a response to you summarizing my general position with respect to our First Chunk discourse.
      Message 74 of 74 , Mar 9, 2007
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        JS, I just posted something to JR that was, in fact, also meant as a response to you summarizing my general position with respect to our First Chunk discourse. So, I had not abandoned the quest completely, just thought I would approach it from another angle; like backing off to the general view instead of being bogged down in the particulars.

        I was just this morning working on the second chunk, which I found interesting, but difficult. The difficulty is one of finding the best mode of response, but I shall light upon one and toss another chunk at you.  ----willy
        --- In kierkegaardians@yahoogroups.com, "jimstuart46" <jjimstuart@...> wrote:
        >
        >
        > Dear Willy,
        >
        > In your post 5543 ("Chunk-Chunk"), you misunderstand what I
        > wrote in my post 5541 ("Re: 1st Chunk").
        >
        > Here if what you write, with my comment first in blue, and you reply in
        > brown:
        >
        > << Thank you for you post 5527. Whilst you clarify a number of things, I
        > don't see you as saying anything new in the post, so I don't have
        > anything to say in response apart from that you didn't actually give me
        > the page references I was after. What I would like, if possible, is the
        > Hong page numbers for these three quotes from the Steere edition of PH:
        > >>
        >
        > JS, I was about to settle down for some more chunking when what you said
        > above finally sank in. Yep, I was too dense to catch it the first time
        > around. Since my "more chunking" would be a continuation of my prior
        > chunking, and in that you saw nothing new that would require a response,
        > why then should I expect a response to that which I was about to create?
        > Well, then, thought I, to whom should I then be speaking if I were to
        > continue chunking? Perhaps to myself, which I must admit I do much of
        > around here? How about the clown? Perfect thought I. So be it! Why beat
        > a dead horse when there is a live clown around? ----willy
        >
        > When I said I did not see anything new in your post I was referring just
        > to your post 5541, which seemed to me to be the point where the "1st
        > Chunk" thread petered out.
        >
        > Your previous four posts to me 5464, 5468, 5469 & 5488 all contained a
        > lot of new stuff, and as I remarked in my post 5474 ("Re: The
        > Language of Reflection (part 2)"), they "helped me to improve my
        > understanding of your interpretation of K, and they have also helped me
        > to progress my own understanding of K."
        >
        > If you recall, your "1st Chunk" post 5488 was a response to only
        > the first two paragraphs of my post 5474 – the part dealing with the
        > question of whether "in eternity" referred to the here and now
        > or life after death or perhaps even both of these.
        >
        > In the rest of my post 5474 I talked about a number of issues relating
        > to "the absolute view of the self-change". In particular I ask
        > you a number of questions about your view concerning which I am keen to
        > hear what you have to say. I am sure in answering my questions you will
        > be saying something new to me, otherwise I would have no need for asking
        > you the questions.
        >
        > If you are now bored with the subject matter of the thread "The
        > Language of Reflection (part 2)", please do not trouble yourself to
        > respond to the rest of my post 5474, but as I say, if you do respond, I
        > will read your reply/replies with interest.
        >
        > To make things easy I will copy and paste below the section of my post
        > 5474 which you have not responded to.
        >
        > Yours,
        >
        > Jim
        >
        >
        >
        > Extract from my post 5474 ("Re: The Language of Reflection (part
        > 2)"):
        >
        > A second criticism is that your description of the absolute way of
        > self-change is based on an anti-Christian theory of personal identity.
        > According to the absolute way, you have existed as two different
        > individuals or selves: the aesthetic individual "WB1" before your
        > aesthetic-to-ethical transition and the ethical individual "WB2" after
        > your absolute transition.
        >
        > As I understand you, the individual WB1 went out of existence in the
        > late sixties (or was it the seventies?), and the new individual WB2 was
        > created out of nothing. Although the US state authorities only recognize
        > one person "William Brown", in reality there have been two people who
        > have possessed the official ID for "William Brown".
        >
        > Whilst I have no worries about the US authorities being in the wrong, I
        > suggest that K does not hold to this "two persons" view of "William
        > Brown" because it is contrary to traditional Christian doctrine.
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > As I read K he was a conservative when it came to traditional Christian
        > doctrine – he had no wish to question or amend what he understood as
        > Christian dogma.
        >
        > It is traditional Christian doctrine that God created each of us as one
        > person or self at our conception. This self continues as one self
        > throughout its earthly existence, and continues as the same self after
        > death when it is judged and ends up in heaven or hell.
        >
        > Each of us, as one single individual, is at death responsible for all
        > our actions throughout our earthly lives, in particular we are each
        > responsible for the sins we have committed.
        >
        > On your two-self view, WB2 is not responsible for the actions or sins of
        > WB1, as WB2 is not the same person as WB1.
        >
        > Your view, which fits more closely with Eastern ideas of the self, is
        > heretical with respect to Christianity, and, I suggest, K would not
        > countenance such a view.
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > Let me pick up these sentences of yours where you criticise the relative
        > way of self-change:
        >
        > << There are a few difficulties in applying the above form of
        > self-change to SK's words, even if he, from time to time, refers not to
        > death but a dying to. The first and foremost being that in many places
        > he describes the self-change in terms that may be read as absolutely
        > requiring an absolute change of identity. >>
        >
        > Can you give references and/or quotes for these "many places" where K
        > describes the self-change as requiring "an absolute change of identity"?
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > In your post 5468 you ask:
        >
        > << How can you see an absolute disjunction in the transition from the
        > esthetic to the ethical and not see what I am talking about? We must not
        > have the same idea of what an absolute disjunction means when it comes
        > to subjectivity. What do you mean? >>
        >
        > I interpret K's talk of an "absolute disjunction" as implying an
        > absolute change of the individual (the self) as a result of the leap
        > from the lower sphere to the higher sphere. For me the absolute
        > disjunction means the (same) self changing absolutely, for you it means
        > that the old self dies (is annihilated) and the new self is created from
        > nothing.
        >
        > It would be helpful if you could list all the places where K uses the
        > term "absolute disjunction". From memory, I recall he only uses the term
        > to describe the religiousness A – to – religiousness B
        > transition; not, as you believe, the aesthetic-to-ethical transition.
        > But I may be wrong here.
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > The quotes you give from your post 5469 are very helpful and do show
        > that K did distinguish between "bad" reflection and "good" reflection.
        > Bad reflection is the kind of objective reflection of the Hegelians who
        > "cast all Christian relationships into reflection".
        >
        > Good reflection is subjective reflection, "a god fearing reflection", "
        > a reflection on himself, which is itself an action", "the infinite
        > reflection", "another kind of reflection, specifically, that of
        > inwardness, of possession, whereby it belongs to the subject and no one
        > else", "the reflection of inwardness … the subjective thinker's
        > double reflection".
        >
        > However, whilst this kind of reflection is worthwhile, even essential
        > for the individual who has become ensnared by objective reflection, it
        > must always be remembered that "one does not become a Christian through
        > reflection".
        >
        > With regard to the question of whether K saw it as his task to "cast all
        > the Christian relationships into reflection", the following quote does
        > seem to support your view:
        >
        > "Thus he completed the task of reflection—to cast Christianity,
        > becoming a Christian, wholly and fully into reflection. The purity of
        > his heart was to will only one thing." (PV, Hong, p. 97)
        >
        > I do not have a copy of PV, so I would like to read this quote within
        > its context. Could you put the quote embedded in its paragraph with the
        > preceding and following paragraph included as well?
        >
        > It is not clear to me who the "he" in the quote refers to, or who has
        > "the task of reflection".
        >
        > I am not sure to what extent the quotes you include support your
        > interpretation of K. For example, I note that "the leap is the category
        > of decision", which fits my interpretation of the aesthetic-to-ethical
        > transition exactly, but is an embarrassment to your view, as I don't
        > think you see the aesthetic-to-ethical transition as essentially "a
        > decision".
        >
        > [End of extract from my post 5474]
        >
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